Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

Former soldier Winston Ragos

MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has found enough evidence that could pin Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr down on murder charges in the killing of former soldier Winston Ragos.

According to the NBI Florendo “planted evidence” on the victim who figured in a scuffle with the police officer who was on duty enforcing quarantine rules in a Quezon City checkpoint last month.

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed this to reporters on Thursday, June 4, adding that the bureau has already filed complaints of murder, perjury and planting of evidence against Florendo before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

The murder case the NBI filed against the police officer is a non-bailable offense.

The said case is different against the one filed by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

       The District only sued Florendo for homicide, which is a bailable offense. It did not also file a corresponding complaint against Florendo for planting of evidence.

It was gathered that prosecutors are now in the process of determining probable cause and transmit the case to the court where a judge in return would decide whether or not to issue a warrant.

It may be recalled that Florendo shot dead Ragos near a quarantine control point in Barangay Pasong Putik on April 21 in the middle of a heated argument over enforcing the rule and preventing people from going out to stem the spread of the virus.

The incident accordingly happened even after people who know Ragos well in their area had repeatedly told cops that the ex-soldier was mentally ill.

On his affidavit, Florendo claimed Ragos reached into his sling bag for something resembling a gun, and in that instance, Florendo shot the victim twice leading to his death.

There was a video that shows bystanders telling cops that Ragos was unarmed.

A gun was accordingly found inside Ragos’ pouch after the incident but witnesses and family members said all that Ragos had in his pouch was a bottle of mineral water.

It was gathered the NBI probe was triggered by a request from the army and a direct order from Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.(ia/

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